Roundabout, resurfacing of four-mile stretch are part of plans for 2018
By Ed Nadolski
Editor in Chief
Burlington area residents and landowners are invited next Wednesday to review and comment on the latest local plans for Highway 142, including the creation of a roundabout intersection at McCanna Parkway and resurfacing of a four-mile stretch of the highway.
While the work isn’t scheduled until 2018, Department of Transportation Project Manager Gary Metzer said the DOT has two reasons for checking in with local residents and officials.
First, he said, is to update them on plans for the removal of the overpass and creation of a roundabout at McCanna Parkway and, second, to make residents aware of the resurfacing project.
The public informational meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, from 5-7 p.m. at Burlington High School, 400 McCanna Parkway.
DOT staff members will be available at the meeting to discuss the plans and hear any concerns raised by residents and landowners. Maps and graphics will be on display to illustrate the project, Metzer said.
“Our goal is to share with the public what we’re working on and then address anything we may have missed in their eyes,” Metzer said.
While plans to remove the overpass at McCanna Parkway have long been on the DOT’s radar, the resurfacing work was recently added to scope of the project after transportation officials examined the condition of the highway.
That portion of the project includes milling and resurfacing of the existing pavement as well as the addition of a five-foot paved shoulder to accommodate bicycles. The work area stretches southeast from McCanna Parkway to Highway J (also known as East English Settlement Drive).
The project includes improvements to intersections at Brever Road, Wheatland Road, Womac Lane, Shagbark Lane and Horseshoe Trail.
Metzer said the intersection improvements may require the DOT to acquire some relatively small portions of land, but that won’t be known until the plans are further developed.
The DOT, in consultation with local officials, has settled on a roundabout intersection that will replace the current overpass and open up the south end of McCanna Parkway for traffic to access the Burlington High School/Gateway Technical College campus.
Former Town of Burlington Chairman Kurt Petrie championed the removal of the overpass as part of a campaign pledge in 2007, but the proposal languished over concerns about the cost of the overpass removal and the jurisdictional transfer for that stretch of highway.
In 2009, City of Burlington officials agreed to assume responsibility for patrol and maintenance of the intersection if the state agreed to remove the overpass and create the junction.
Two years ago the DOT presented three options for the intersection, including: a roundabout with at-grade bicycle and pedestrian crossings; a roundabout with a below-grade bicycle/pedestrian tunnel; and a traditional intersection with a tunnel.
After consulting with officials from the town, city, county, school district and Gateway, the DOT settled on the roundabout with at-grade bicycle and pedestrian crossings.
Metzer said officials at the time expressed concerns about the box culvert tunnel included in two of the designs, saying it would likely become a target for graffiti and a place for teens to hang out.
According to state officials, the design of the Highway 142/McCanna Parkway intersection is complicated by its proximity to the schools, Bushnell Park and the White River recreational trail, which means pedestrian and bicycle traffic are a major concern.
Preliminary estimates from 2011 put the cost of the intersection at around $2 million. However, that estimate is likely to escalate by the time the project becomes reality.
Metzer said it is currently budgeted for 2018, but the winds of political change and other economic impacts on the state Legislature could change the schedule.
If you go …
What: Public informational meeting regarding removal of McCanna Parkway overpass, installation of roundabout and resurfacing of a four-mile stretch of Highway 142 in Burlington.
When: Wednesday, March 20, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Burlington High School, 400 McCanna Parkway.
Lowdown: Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources will be on hand to discuss the latest proposal and listen to input from residents and landowners.